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Monthly Archives: November 2019

Why was he here? #MFRWhooks


Leo Shepard has few regrets, but leaving his wife Symmone to pursue his career was a catastrophic mistake. Now that he’s achieved his every dream and is about to make partner at Greene and Banks Architects, he lacks one thing, a wife. But Leo doesn’t want just any wife, he wants the woman he left behind.

From the moment she laid eyes on Leo, Symmone knew she would have her happily ever after. The last thing she expected was a divorce and a broken heart. Devastated by the end of her marriage, she has no choice but to quit school and pick up the pieces of her life.

Working two jobs to support herself and her children, Symmone has little room in her life for romance and even less for her pulsating attraction to her ex-husband. When Leo strolls into the cafe where she works, bent on reconciliation, the chemistry between them is more powerful than ever. Yet she won't give in to his soft words and expensive gifts. More than just her heart is at stake, her children are, as well.

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She squared her shoulders. But why was he here? There was no reason for him to even seek her out. They were divorced, good and proper. She hadn’t asked him for anything in the ensuing years, even going so far as to return the monthly support payments. She didn’t want or need his guilt money. Besides, ten years was a long time to carry a torch for anyone, and she had too much going on in her life to waste her time with teenage fantasies and lovelorn dreams. And certainly not on Leo Sheppard.

Quickly she mopped up the errant coffee and did her best to avoid Amanda’s wave and point.

“You have a customer. And he asked for you,” Amanda said, slapping a stack of menus on the counter.

“I was really hoping to…”

“C’mon, Symmone. He’s absolutely gorgeous and he’s wearing this really great cologne.” Amanda swept her gaze over Symmone from head to toe and just barely wrinkled her nose. “Why he would ask for you I have no idea.”

Disdain from the snotty hostess was a given, and Symmone could ignore the cattiness; what she couldn’t ignore was the hot, bitter emotion roiling in her stomach. For a second it felt a lot like jealousy. Ten years and she was jealous? Unbelievable.

With an eye roll, Symmone picked up the glass of water and approached the table where Leo sat. Thankfully he had his back to her and she had time to gather her thoughts. Why was he here? She couldn’t seem to get past that question.

Her footsteps slowed as she caught a glimpse of her reflection in the windowpane. She paused long enough to straighten her dark ponytail. With a huff of disgust she dropped her hand from her ebony tresses and shook her head. She couldn’t believe she was primping for her ex. Primping!

She set the glass on the table with a thump. He looked up with a tentative smile, and she was lost. She opened her mouth to speak and not a single word came out. God, he was even more handsome than the last time she’d seen him. Gone was the youthful softness of his face. Now he had a man’s face, a jaw that spoke of strength and maturity. His brown eyes, while bright and intelligent, seemed to hold a tinge of sadness, but what drew her attention most was his mouth. How many hours had she fantasized about the taste and shape of his mouth, about the firm press of his lips against hers or the butterfly kisses he used to flutter over her skin.

His smile widened. “You’re speechless.”

The warm rasp of his rich baritone danced over her, opening wounds she thought long since healed and igniting a desire she’d hoped long dead. He couldn’t come in here, to her place of employment, and upset everything she’d ever worked for with just two words.

Everything came back in an aching, throbbing fireball, and she clenched her hands at her sides.

“What do you want?” She didn’t bother to hide the annoyance or anger in her voice.

He blinked, and his smile drooped a bit, but he managed to maintain it. “I came to see you.”

“You haven’t given a damn about me in ten years. What’s so special about now? Are you dying? Or have you come to assuage some misplaced sense of guilt? Either way, the café has very good takeout I believe you would enjoy.”

He chuckled, and it produced an ache in areas she didn’t want to acknowledge. “I suppose I deserve that, but you’re wrong, Symmone. I’ve never stopped thinking about you.” His quiet admission stayed her irritation. “And I was wrong to do what I did.”

Tears burned and clogged the back of her throat. Somehow he’d stolen all of her righteous indignation with a few short sentences. “Well, I’m glad to hear you admit it. So is this what makes amends for anyone you’ve wronged? Fine. You’re forgiven. You may go.” She spun on her heel, would’ve made a clean getaway, except he grabbed her wrist. The chair scraped across the floor, and a moment later the hard line of his body met her back.

Need slammed through her system, sparking little used nerves and sending her pulse into overdrive. The heady scent of his cologne, a little pine and sage, promised slow, sensual seduction.

She whirled around and snapped her gaze to his face. Molten desire shone in the depths of Leo’s milk chocolate eyes. Her breath caught in her throat. She never expected to see such passion on his face, not after all this time. Biting her lip against the answering wave of desire pulsing through her veins, she snatched her hand away.

“Don’t touch me again!”

He backed up, hands raised. “Okay. I’m sorry. I just”—he inhaled—“I want to talk to you, Symmone. I meant what I said. There has been no one else since you and, well, I would really like to take you out to dinner tonight.”

Dinner? She pierced him with an icy stare and savored a small victory when he shifted his weight from one foot to the other. “I’m. Busy.”

Nodding, he reached inside his jacket pocket, pulled out a card, and laid it on the table. “If you change your mind, my cell is at the bottom and my hotel is on the back.” His gaze lingered on her a moment. “If I don’t hear from you, I will be back every day until you agree to see me.”

He brushed past and she stared after him, dumbfounded. What game was he playing now?


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Give Thanks #MFRWauthor

Thanksgiving will soon be upon us. Visions of Turkey, dressing. yams and green bean casserole come to mind, and don’t forget the picture perfect pumpkin pie. This is the day we dress up, sit around an antique lace tablecloth, with some long dead relative china adorning the properly set table.


No? That’s not your Thanksgiving? Mine either. Break out the paper plates, plastic silverware, cups and napkins. The tablecloth could either be a linen actually designed for that task or a freshly laundered bedsheet. Don’t look at me like that, you know you’ve done that too. So set out the oxtails, Cornish hens, ham, dressing, mac n cheese, greens and whatever else comes to mind. Wear your stretchy pants and prepare to give thanks.


Why give thanks? How about showing appreciation for what you have and not taking the people you have in your life for granted.


Because no matter how much I dislike certain members of my family, they are my family.


I could be homeless.


Without family, or friends.

I could be terminally ill.

Locked up.

In a mental hospital.

I could be dead


And the list could go on and on. There’s nothing wrong with turning off the TV, silencing your cell phones, and showing appreciation for those around you. Life is short. Stop and give thanks.

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A crisp, wintry wind #MFRWhooks

Secrets abound in Benson's Bakery. A crazed Santa wants something valuable hidden inside the building, and only two things stand in his way...Jake and Sara.


When Sara Henderson receives threatening letters just days before Christmas, she asks sexy bread baker Jake Benson for help. Jake is more than happy to provide the muscle to keep the beautiful cake decorator from harm, but he has an ulterior motive--to steal a kiss under the mistletoe. Sara wants that kiss as much as he does, but first they have a mystery to solve.


Will they find out who is stalking Sara, or will Santa succeed in stealing Christmas?

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She stopped short. Of all the vehicles parked behind the bakery, hers was the only one with a sheet of paper fluttering beneath the wiper blade. Fear danced along Sara Henderson’s nerve endings, shooting her pulse into overdrive as she trudged toward her blue 300C. Would this be another threat? And did these mysterious notes have anything to do with why Jerry died?


Seven weeks had passed since her boss, Jerry Benson, was murdered—apparently he interrupted a robbery attempt at the bakery. Sadness stole through her. Upon his passing, he left Sara fifty percent interest in the business, and the other half went to his grandson Jake. The police, as of yet, had no leads and everyone at the bakery was on edge.


A crisp, wintry wind buffeted her face and she tugged the collar of her coat a little tighter in the somber morning light. Please let it be a flyer. Footsteps echoed from behind her. She whirled and scanned the shadows, straining to glimpse any movement. A soft ho-ho-ho murmured on the wind. The knot in her stomach coiled tighter.


She should return to the bakery. Forget about her purse in the car and the paper on her windshield. Dark ink zigzagged across the glass, leaving an ominous stain on the thick layer of ice. She cast a nervous look around. This was just like the last time, right after Jerry’s funeral. Some crazy person dressed like an elf had mugged her.


Another wary glance around the area reminded her of her vulnerability. She blew out a breath. Get the purse get the note. Actually she could ignore the paper, if a brisk breeze didn’t flap the page with noisy persistence. Squaring her shoulders, she unlocked the trunk.


Sara grabbed her purse from the back of the trunk and slammed the lid. The constant flutter was a reminder that she still had to read this one, regardless of her apprehension. She stalked to the front of the car and snatched the flyer from the windshield. With trembling fingers, she smoothed the page. Footsteps echoed loudly in the alley. She held her breath and glanced over her shoulder.


Nothing. A shaky breath misted from between her lips in the frigid air. Time to get inside. She turned and screamed.

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